“Full of concrete, exciting examples … a golden opportunity to reimagine Europe and the World.”— Nicanor Perlas, Winner of Right Livelihood Award, 2003, Foreword
Free, Equal and Mutual is a centenary anthology that draws on Rudolf Steiner’s vision for a free, equal and mutual society, a threefold commonwealth. 20 cutting edge articles by 13 contributors show how the social threefold social order offers practical alternatives to the prevailing neo-liberal social order.
Currently, our market dominated society is in meltdown with resurgent nationalism, global warming, rising inequality, and blowback from wars. People feel precarious and angry, afraid for their jobs, homes, children, health, well being and identity. Left/right pendulum politics swings from ‘more market’ to ‘more state’.
However, Rudolf Steiner’s social analysis offers a timely alternative for rebalancing society. The mobilisation of civil society, cultural and social movements can push back the market from the captive state and from culture. How? Healthy boundaries are reasserted between the private business sector, the public state sector and the plural cultural sector, so that each ‘leg’ of the three legged stool making up society can pay to its strenghs. This shapes a dynamic threefold society based on mutuality, equality and freedom – for people and planet.
Rudolf Steiner (1863-1925) campaigned for societal renewal in the war-torn Germany of 1917-19, activated by the compelling need to create the conditions for lasting peace. He recognised that politics, economic life, and culture are very different spheres. A business, government department and a school, for example have very different dynamics. He saw the self determination of individuals as healthy, but prophetically saw the principle of national self-determination under the Versailles Treaty as a recipe for toxic nationalism and more war.
With contributions from two alternative Nobel prize winners, Sekem in Egypt and Nicanor Perlas, a Filipino biodynamic farmer and former presidential contendender, this anthology of 20 inspiring chapters draws upon Steiner’s social thinking practically e.g. Ethical banking with Triodos, Land for People and Affordable Homes, making the Egyptian desert flourish with Sekem, freeing schools, associative economics, more democracy and a biodynamic food revolution. Free, Equal and Mutual will befood for thought and action for those interested in finding new ways beyond the tired old duopoly politics of the “free” market versus the state, and for those needing a practical societal map for navigating successfuly a volatile, complex and uncertain world.
“Today’s advanced economies have reached a critical turning-point. Free, Mutual and Equal shows a way ahead for rebalancing society, through a co-operative commonwealth economy based on ‘voluntary socialism’, with a rights-based state and a flourishing civil society – all working for the common good.” — David Drew Ph.D., MP, Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, UK
Steve Briault is Director of Development at Emerson College, Sussex, and an international consultant in organisation and community development.
Martin Large is a facilitator, lecturer, activist and social business enabler. He chaired the Community Land Trust National Demonstration Project (2005-9).
Contributors: Christine Arlt, Gerald Hafner, Christopher Schaefer, Christopher Strawe, Richard House, Glen Saunders, Andrew Scott, Edward Udell, Nicanor Perlas, Robert Karp and John Bloom